Betty Stroud (Florida)

Betty  Stroud  is based at (28J) Palatka Municipal Airport, Lt. “Kay” Larkin Field, Palatka, Florida.

Ladies, I am tickled to post this particular lady taildragger and you’ll soon understand why. Betty and I have exchanged a few emails now and I’m including this one for you all. She inspires me!!

“The newest of these photos is about ten years old.  There seems no reason to take photos any longer as we have boxes full.  I think you realize that I am older, much older than most of the gals… at 81.  I have been actively flying until this last June when I did not renew my medical.  I can still fly if my husband is in the plane.  We flew out of St. Augustine for years, but when the airport grew and needed a control tower, we opted for a quieter location to base our Citabria.  We are now based at 28J, Palatka, Florida.  Both airports are about the same distance from our home.”

Meet Betty Stroud!

In 1974 I learned to fly in a Citabria GCBC. I was 45 at that time, and my husband had just completed his primary flight training. After accompanying him on a local flight, I immediately thought, “I need to learn to do this.


Jim Moser of Aero Sport in St. Augustine, Florida, was my instructor. Jim’s family owned the local FBO, and he was also an aerobatic pilot who often performed in air shows. I trusted Jim with anything he did in an airplane. Because my husband wanted me to know and understand spin recoveries, Jim showed me spins before my first solo.


We have owned three Citabrias, all GCBC’s. The first, my solo airplane, burned in a hanger fire. We now own a beautiful yellow year 2000 GCBC.


Citabrias are the perfect airplane. They have great visibility, are comfortable, and are very safe. We have flown from Florida to Alaska three times in a Citabria. It is the perfect cross country. At our fuel stops, someone would always say, “Are you flying to Alaska in that little airplane?


I have never flown nose-wheel airplanes. My logbook shows time in Citabrias, Great Lakes biplanes, Decathlons, and a mid-wing aerobatic airplane (a laser), a forerunner of latest Walter Extras. I have flown several models of Pitts but never soloed. Several of my flights in Pitts were with the legendary Jim Holland, who instructed me in inside and outside spins. Jim also instructed me in aerobatics in my Citabria. Aerobatics are not easy in a Citabria as it is a little stick heavy in maneuvers.


I was really leery of submitting my profile.  All your ladies sound young, and I didn’t know if a old gal would be of any interest.  But, we all love taildraggers.  Flying has been such an integral part of my life. I am probably older than most of the taildragger ladies at 81. You don’t ever lose your love of flying, especially in a great tail wheel airplane.


  • Lynn Gardner
    Posted at 13:29h, 25 February Reply


    I am only 110 miles out at 7FL7 so keep me posted.


  • Faith
    Posted at 17:29h, 24 February Reply

    Welcome, Betty!

    It is great to “meet” other Floridians. Your airport is only 150 miles from mine (2J9) so perhaps we will be able to meet in person one day. I am helping to organize a fly-in at our airport on May 14; perhaps you and your husband could come join us?


  • Lynn Gardner
    Posted at 19:23h, 14 February Reply


    Glad to see such a grand lady join our group, especially a Floridian. I will be happy to give you stick time in my Light Sport taildragger anytime. I am sure you can teach me a thing or two. Light Sport doesn’t require a medical and after loosing mine for a short time, I decided to only own an LSA. Lets get together soon


  • Susan
    Posted at 17:36h, 12 February Reply


    WELCOME! I can’t imagine this group without you so I’m sooo glad you joined us! How wonderful to hear your story and see your photos! I sure hope you can bring your hubby and come to the flyin this year! I know we would ALL love to see you there!


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